Greg Tucker, Chairman and CEO of Pico Rivera, California based Bay Cities, an innovative leader and true advocate for the corrugated industry, was inducted as the newest member of AICC’s Hall of Fame during the Association’s 2022 Spring Meeting on Friday, April 8, in Palm Desert, California. A 10-minute video outlining Tucker’s 41-year career in the industry highlighted his many accomplishments. Comments by co-workers, friends and colleagues provided poignant and humorous anecdotes.
“Greg Tucker is a most deserving Hall of Fame honoree,” said AICC President Mike D’Angelo. His entire career is filled with leadership and service for AICC, FBA, ICPF, and the Foundation for Packaging Education. He has helped countless individuals in the industry as well. Everyone has a Greg Tucker story.”
Described by others as a “truly unique individual” and a talented leader with a “fearless, relentless authentic vision,” Tucker got his start in the corrugated industry on a dare. “I began my career by daring to work with a gentleman named Bill Hanan, who owned Bay Cities. I looked at him as a mentor and another father and I think he looked at me as his illegitimate child.” After years as Bay Cities’ leading salesperson Tucker was named president of the company in 1995 and when Hanan passed away, Tucker assumed the role of chairman.
“There were opportunities in graphics and in building displays, as well the opportunity to work in a retail environment, so we bought a one-color screen printer and learned how to print process on one color,” said Tucker. “It was frightening and it was slow but we learned how to do it. It was ‘baptism by fire’ moving a brown box company that was predominantly making large furniture boxes into the graphic world and into building displays.”
Tucker also managed the transition of Bay Cities into a full ESOP (Employee Owned Stock Program) company, fulfilling his vision of wanting everyone to better themselves, to improve themselves and to constantly learn; he wants to take everybody to the next level; what drives him is his desire to make sure that he’s supporting the people who work for him; he’s passionate about developing people. One commenter said, “Greg goes out of his way to give of himself. He empowers you to live up to the expectation you didn’t even have for yourself.”
“They don’t work for me, I work for them,” said Tucker of his employees. My goal is to provide a runway for them to take off financially, educationally, growth-wise and career-wise. I want to help people be the best versions of themselves that they can be.”
His “people” say that he achieves his goal by challenging norms and popular beliefs; he will drive you very hard because he wants you to continuously learn and he brings a special brand of humor to get his point across. He surrounds himself with and nurtures talent and creativity, and ultimately, he regards his people with the utmost respect. It may be the reason that people want to work with him and for him.
“When I first started with Bay Cities I believe we had maybe 50 employees,” said Tucker. “We grew by 10 percent every year and now we’re at 230 people.”
Added D’Angelo, “Greg’s been a great spokesman for our industry in that he’s been on several regional, national and international stages. He’s demonstrated a commitment and dedication to AICC and FBA for decades. He’s also been supportive of ICPF and contributed to the betterment of printing schools like Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.”
“I’d first like to thank my family, you’ve allowed me to gallivant all over the country,” said Tucker in his “acceptance speech.” Thank you to my employees, who allow me to do what I do. You’ve empowered me to take a vacation for 41 years. It’s a great honor to be a hall of famer because I’m now one of several “doubles” in that my “illegitimate father” Bill Hanan is a Hall of Famer, as well. Thank you again and always remember this: Happiness is a quality box!”